6 Most Common Portable Washing Machine Problems

Portable Washing Machine Problems

Your washer may be broken, so before you call the repairman you should check Most Common Portable Washing Machine Problems.

Portable washing machines have carved themselves into a niche market because of the ever-shrinking apartment sizes in urban centers and the RV-living society.

Though portable washing machine problems and features or convenience move hand in hand, features win. They take up less space while performing the same functionality as standard washers.

You can lift them, transfer them from room to room, and most times, all you need is a power socket and a source of water, and you’re good to go. Other portable washers even combine washer and dryer functionalities, which is convenient and cheaper.

Is There a Difference Between a Portable and a Standard Washing Machine?

Portable Washing Machine Problems

Both washers perform the same functionality; the main difference would be their configurations. A standard washing machine is permanently connected to a dedicated water supply because where you first place, it becomes its final destination.

On the other hand, Portable washers have removable inlet hoses, which are adapted to fit into faucets, making it easy to install them and remove them for storage. They also have a removable drainage hose connecting to a sink, and greywater comes out of the washer as a laundry cycle progresses. 

Another difference would be size and portability. Standard washers tend to be quite significant and heavy, necessitating the need for smaller, lighter washers. There are portable washers so small that they can fit in a bag or closet.

What are common problems with washing machines?

A portable washing machine can have these problems, which need to get resolved.

  1. Power Problem
  2. Spinning Problem
  3. Leakage problems
  4. Water Filling Problem
  5. Smell Problem
  6. Other Technical Issues

Portable Washer Won’t Turn On

Portable Washer Won't Turn On

The first thing to check for any electric appliance when it won’t turn on is the electrical supply.

  1. Check the Socket. Is your portable washer plugged in? Ensure that the washer’s plug is inserted securely into the socket and that it’s turned on. If the problem persists, check whether you have a power supply. The problem could be the washer’s plug, connect another electrical device, like a blender, to the socket to see whether it will turn on.
  2. Check the Washer’s Power Cord. The power cord could be faulty. Inspect it for exposed wires and whether the cables have frayed. Electric wire problems are messy, and unless you are an electrician, leave any exposed wires to professionals.
  3. Check the Washer’s Door or Lid. Washers won’t work if there’s a problem with the door/lid. Inspect your washer’s door/lid’s catch-release mechanism. If faulty, then the washer won’t turn on. Some washers have programmed with a child lock mechanism for child protection, so if your washer stopped mid-cycle and won’t start back up, lift the lid and close it back up and retry.

Portable Washing Machine Problem of Spinning

Portable Washing Machine Problem of Spinning

As for as portable washing machine problems are concerned, it can have the spinning problem as well. This isn’t as uncommon a problem as you think; appliances jam sometimes. Have you tried switching it off and back on again? I have no idea why, but this is usually one of the most common solutions for jammed-up appliances.

You Didn’t Choose a Wash Cycle

You Didn't Choose a Wash Cycle

We can be so busy at times that we are leaving things unattended. Check whether you chose the correct wash cycle.

Check the Drain Pump

Portable washers won’t work if they aren’t draining, and this may be a problem with the drain pump. But first, check whether the outlet hose has been blocked. A blocked outlet hose prevents the free flow of water in the washer. If you notice a delay in drainage, then this would be the problem. Before a laundry load, check all cloth pockets for potential drain hose blockers like coins. Inspect the lint filter, and if it isn’t working correctly, then a lint build-up would cause this problem.

Imbalanced Drum

Imbalanced Drum

Some portable washers come with an Auto-Imbalance Detection System. This helps a washer balance itself when your laundry is leaning towards one side. For those that don’t, an imbalanced washer will bring problems like too many vibrations that would eventually cause a washer to break or agitate it too much that washer components become loose. You will need to level your washer to fix this problem.



An overloaded washer won’t spin. There are too many items in the washer, and therefore they can’t move around the machine, they won’t get agitated, and the dirt won’t leave them. The detergent won’t even have space to move around. It may even leave you with dirtier clothes than you came in with.

Loose Drive Belt

Your washer’s drive belt works to help agitate and drain your laundry. When loose, the washer becomes noisy and causes the washer to stop spinning. Luckily, drive belts are replaceable. This will require you to open the washer to get to the drum. If you aren’t DIY savvy, then call a technician to help.

Washer Won’t Finish its Wash Cycle

A washer can start well and fail to complete the wash cycle. Newer washers have LED displays that flash error warnings when there’s a problem with the current wash cycle.

  1. Overheating. A mid-cycle stop could be because of the water inside overheating. If your washer’s thermistor is faulty, then it can’t control the washer’s heating system, and situations like these come up. Have you had other wash cycles before the current one consecutively? This could cause overheating. Give the washer a break, then try again.
  2. Power Supply Issues. If there’s a problem with the power supply, either the circuit breaker broke because of a power surge mid-cycle or a problem with the connection between the socket and plug. As usual, contact a certified electrician to fix any electrical issues to prevent even further damage.
  3. Check the timer.  A faulty timer may cause a washer to keep cleaning even after the time has elapsed. To fix this, you will require a multimeter or volt-ohm meter. I recommend calling a technician to fix this issue.
  4. Blocked Drainage. Blocked drainage could cause the cycle to stop before completion.

Portable Washer is Leaky

Portable Washer isn’t Filling With Water

If your washer isn’t getting enough water as it should: 

  1. Check whether you have a water supply. Disconnect the inlet hose from the faucet and turn on the tap. Do you have a water supply? Reconnect it back again and try. It could have been a water bubble.
  2. Check whether the inlet hose has connected correctly. Examine whether the connection between the inlet hose and the faucet is secure.
  3. Check whether the inlet hose has broken. A broken inlet hose will leak, and therefore the water won’t reach the washer as desired. Inspect the pipe, and if it’s frayed or damaged, replace it.


Smelly Washer

Washer form bio-films after continuous use. Clean your washer regularly, and clear out any mold or mildew that forms. Use the correct type of detergent when washing your clothes to reduce the build-up of dirt in your washer as well. 

Technical Issues

Your washer can have internal body problems. Yes, you are not aware of all the issues a machine can have. Some problems are just concerned with the professionals. So, to deal with such a problem, the better way is to take a professional’s help. So, leave technical issues to professionals.

Is it worth getting a washer fixed?

It depends, which washer you use because there are portable washers between 100-400$ or more. So whenever you think about repairing you first should check what is the price to washing machine gets fixed.

Why is my portable washer not working?

I have written above the most common problems. If you can’t fix the washer solo, you should call a repairman, then ask him for help. Also, ask him how much costs to repair the broken washer.


We have analyzed many portable washer problems that could occur when using a portable washer. These issues are mainly easy to fix and won’t need tech-savviness to fix. Remember to disconnect your portable washer from the power supply before attempting any DIY fixes. Also, you are not bound to solve all your portable machine issues on your own. Sometimes professional’s help is better, especially in technical problems. It will save you time and energy.

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